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Monday, November 03, 2008

Cell Phone Pings Help Track Casey Anthony's Movements Over 3 Days

November 3, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Local 6 News investigative reporter Tony Pipitone tracked the movements of Casey Anthony, the woman charged with first-degree murder in the disappearance of her daughter, Caylee, by using cell phone records.

Caylee was last seen in mid-June but was not reported missing until a month later. Her mother was first charged with child neglect before being charged with murder.

Pipitone said he tracked Anthony from Monday, June 16 -- the day Caylee was last seen alive -- until Monday, June 30 -- the day Anthony's abandoned car was towed from an Orange County Amscot.

The trunk of Anthony's car had a stench that investigators claim was from Caylee's body, Pipitone reported.
According to records, Anthony's cell phone "pinged" 20 different cell towers 754 times in the two-week period. Each time, her cell phone received or sent a text message or phone call, Pipitone reported.
Ninety-seven percent of the pings were to either her boyfriend's apartment near Winter Park, her friend's home in Orlando -- where she sometimes stayed -- her parents' home off Chickasaw Trail and the Fusian nightclub, where she was photographed partying while Caylee was missing, Pipitone said.

The other 3 percent of the pings -- especially during three days in June -- have raised questions, Pipitone said.

On Monday, June 16, Anthony's father, George Anthony, said he he saw his daughter and granddaughter leave his house at about 1 p.m.

"But if they did leave at that time, the cell records show they did not go far. Casey's cell phone communicated that afternoon through the same three cell towers she could reach from her home," Pipitone said.

At 1 p.m., Anthony made a 14-minute call to her boyfriend, Tony Lazzaro. At 1:44 p.m., she made a 36-minute call to her then-best friend, Amy Huizenga. At 2:52 p.m., there was an 11-minute call with ex-fiance Jesse Grund. All of the calls used cell towers that can be reached from her parents' home, Pipitone said.

But at 4:11 p.m., Anthony began trying to reach her mother, Cindy Anthony, making four attempts in two minutes, according to records. Anthony then traveled north from her parent's home and called Lazzaro for one minute at 4:19 p.m., Pipitone reported. Two minutes later, she talked to Grund for a minute, and tried to call her mother again at 4:25 p.m., Pipitone said.
There was no other communication from Anthony's cell phone until a call was made to Lazzaro's apartment at 5:57 p.m., records show.

Two hours later, Anthony and Lazzaro were captured on surveillance video at a Blockbuster, renting a movie that contains a scene of a rotting body in a car trunk, Pipitone said.
On June 17, Anthony returned to her parents' home around 2:30 p.m., Pipitone reported. At 4 p.m., her phone pinged a tower southwest of the house near Lee Vista Boulevard and South Goldenrod Road, an area where detectives have directed Equusearch volunteers to search for Caylee weeks ago.

At 5:20 p.m., a tower was pinged near Blanchard Park, another site searched in August by Equusearch. Anthony's cell phone went silent from 5:23 p.m. until 8:23 p.m., perhaps prompting investigators to search the area, Pipitone said.

"It was then that Casey's phone pinged a cell tower near boyfriend Tony Laazaro's apartment," Pipitone said. "By then, around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 17, Caylee had not been seen alive for nearly a day and a half. But remember, chemical evidence in the trunk of Casey's car indictaes the decomposing body was there up to two and half days after death, so a key question for anyone looking for Caylee's body (is) 'Where did Casey go next?'"

On Wednesday, June 18, the day Casey's parents' neighbor said Anthony borrowed a shovel and backed her car into the garage, cell phone pings show that Anthony was at or near her parents' home from 2:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m., Pipitone said.
Anthony's phone later pinged a different spot near the Econ Trail, south of Lake Underhill, records show. It's also a location that detectives guided Equusearch volunteers to look for signs of Caylee's body, Pipitone said.

Equusearch will return to that area Nov. 8 to continue the search, Pipitone reported.
Scientific evidence suggests that a body left its chemical signature in the trunk of Anthony's car after decomposing for less than two and a half days, which would be about the same time period between the aforementioned cell phone pings, Pipitone said.
Key Date Investigated

Pipitone sifted through thousands of documents, looking into whether Caylee died on June 16, the key date in the case.

Pipitone said to understand why investigators believe Caylee is dead starts early in the morning of June 16, when Anthony called Lazzaro from her parents' house.

The 80-minute phone call ended at 1:05 a.m., and Anthony then had a conversation via text messages with Lazzaro until Lazzaro called her at 3:08 a.m.

It is not known what was discussed, but less than 10 hours later, Caylee, who was 2 at that time, was seen for the last time by her grandfather, George Anthony, Pipitone reported.

"Ten minutes to 1 (o'clock) that afternoon on the 16th is when I actually saw Casey and Caylee together -- both leaving with backpacks -- and my daughter said she was going to work, and she was taking Caylee to the nanny, to the baby sitter," George Anthony said.

Just before 8 p.m., seven hours after Caylee was last seen alive, Casey Anthony and Lazzaro are seen on surveillance video visiting the Blockbuster store near his apartment on University Boulevard. Caylee is not in the video.

Lazzaro told Local 6 News that he had not seen Caylee at that point for two weeks.
The video is one reason investigators believe June 16 may have been the day Caylee died, Pipitone reported.

"What happened in the next hours is even more intriguing. Tony (Lazzaro) and Casey rented two movies for that night. One one of them (was) "Untraceable," which contains a graphic scene that is even more chilling when you consider where Caylee's body may have been," Pipitone said. "The movie shows an FBI agent being pursued by a sadistic cyber-stalker who pops the trunk of a car and is overcome by the smell of a fly-infested, rotting corpse left by the killer in the trunk of the car."

Investigators believe Caylee's body was left in the trunk of her mother's car, where it decomposed, emitting an odor that Casey Anthony's mother, Cindy Anthony, identified, Pipitone reported.

"It smells like there's been a dead body in the damn car," Cindy Anthony said in a 911 call.
"Whether the movie scene is a clue to what Casey might have already done or was about to do -- or even where Caylee may have been on the same night they rented that movie -- only Casey can answer that, and she's not talking," Pipitone said.

Pipitone said he will continue to investigate the timeline into the case using cell phone records that show who Casey Anthony was talking to or texting.

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